Why Does My Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

The answer to why does my sewing machine thread keeps breaking can be from four causes. We will talk about how to solve them below. You’ll also learn how to solve a sewing machine that keeps getting unthreaded.

Why Does My Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking

Speaking of fixing issues, do you know how to repair a sewing machine at home? We wrote some basic solutions for common sewing machine problems that you can check out. 


Why Does Thread Break On Sewing Machine


Wrong needle or thread

The thread can break if you do not use the correct needle, or even if it’s the right size, it is damaged or bent. Various projects will require a specific needle to avoid breaking the thread during sewing. And if the issue is not on the needle, you can check if you’re using the proper thread, or else it won’t sew your material and break. 

For a quick solution, learn how to adjust the needle position on the sewing machine and install it correctly. You may also need to check for knots on the thread because they can snag and cause breakage. 


Incorrect threading and bobbin winding

Learn the proper way of threading the specific sewing machine you have because it can affect the smoothness of the sewing operation or damage the thread. Additionally, check the bobbin and clean it regularly. If it collects lint, then the thread won’t wound well and might get damaged. 


Wrong tension

Do you understand sewing machine tension? You may need to adjust the tension according to the material or task you’re doing. Of course, you can always test the machine on scrap fabric to see what adjustments are needed and avoid breakage on the thread itself. 


Dirty throat plate

If the condition of the throat plate is not optimal, it can also cause the needle to break. For example, there might be a nick on the plate that consistently causes breakage on the needle. Therefore, you also want to keep the throat plate clean or replace the plate if it is full of nicks.


Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Coming Unthreaded?


Damaged needle or thread

The sewing machine can get unthreaded if the needle is bent or damaged. The thread can quickly come out of the needle eye, especially if the needle is bent or has a burr. Then, don’t forget to ensure that your thread is high-quality because if it quickly develops knots, it can get unthreaded. 

Here is a helpful list of where to buy sewing machine needles. Do not hesitate to replace or get the proper needle to avoid inconveniences during sewing. 


Improper threading

Did you read your sewing machine manual for proper threading? You must know the correct setup of your sewing machine, or the thread won’t stay within the needle eye. For example, a common mistake overlooked is when the user didn’t thread from the front toward the back. 

If you have issues threading your unit, consider getting a self-threading needle.  You can also check machines with threaders to save you the trouble. 


Loose tension

The most common issue that causes the sewing machine to come unthreaded lies in the tension. Different projects and materials require the top thread tension to vary. If it’s too high or too low, then it can get unthreaded. 


Dirty bobbin area

Always inspect your sewing machine because debris and dirt buildup can affect its functionality. The bobbin area can collect dust, so make sure you clear it out of anything that shouldn’t be there to keep the machine sewing properly. You also need to ensure that you’re using the correct bobbin because it can lead to unthreading if you use the unoriginal one. 


Scratched footer

The thread can fall out of the area around the hole where the needle is scratched. This part of the machine is called the footer, and damage to it can touch the needle. When this happens, the needle can get unthreaded. 

Consider replacing the damaged footer and then test everything after the installation. Of course, you want the needle to pass freely inside the footer when the needle moves up and down. 


What Should My Tension Be On My Sewing Machine?

Since the sewing machine tension can be among the causes of thread-related issues, it would be best to know what your tension should be. The technique is to experiment using the tension dial and tighten or loosen the tension. Then, sew on scrap fabric so that the stitches are balanced and the top side has no loops, and both stitches on each side of the material feel smooth. 

Another technique is to thread the sewing machine with a different needle and bobbin threads. Sew on a light-colored material and look for loops on the top and bottom sides. Loops on the right side of the fabric mean you need to loosen the upper thread tension while seeing them underneath means you need to loosen the bobbin thread tension. 



Was this article helpful? We just answered why does my sewing machine thread keeps breaking and revealed four potential culprits. Check the needle and thread, threading and bobbin winding, tension, and throat plate. 

In general, the proper setup of the machine should avoid issues like this. We also recommend reading what causes fabric puckering when sewing because you might’ve experienced that as well. 


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